Seeing Through the Illusion

It's not necessary, nor is it possible, to get the world to conform to our expectations, so clearly something must be done about our expectations. If they were based on what is actually happening, then changing them would also be a problem, but they aren't. This is why it's necessary to see what's actually going on instead of what we think/imagine is going on, and that's what it means to see through the illusion.

When we look at the events of the world, we immediately encounter a problem. There actually is cruelty, selfishness and suffering, and so it doesn't look like we are seeing illusions, and our expectations that something needs to change seem reasonable, but what we are looking at is not the illusion but rather the result of how we respond to illusion.

Naturally, if we believe there are extraterrestrial aliens among us who mean to take over the planet, we'll form a plan of action that may include actions like invasive surveillance, imprisoning and maybe torturing suspects, widespread suspicion and the hoarding of weapons and supplies. It would be a misdirection to point to the resulting cruelty, selfishness and suffering as proof that there is no illusion. 

To identify the illusions from which we form the perception of our personal worlds, we need to begin at home, with the perception of our most personal experience before we respond to those misperceptions, thereby contributing to the negativity we wish to change. Ghandi said "Be the change you wish to see in the world". 

Lao Tzu said:

“If there is to be peace in the world,
There must be peace in the nations.
If there is to be peace in the nations,
There must be peace in the cities.
If there is to be peace in the cities,
There must be peace between neighbors.
If there is to be peace between neighbors,
There must be peace in the home.
If there is to be peace in the home,
There must be peace in the heart.”

The world is literally the expression of what is in the heart, and so it does no good to change the world until one changes one's own heart. This doesn't really mean trying to be a better person, or a more kind, loving, compassionate person, as this will only backfire if what is being perceived is still illusion. 

Inevitably, one becomes a moralist or crusader, imposing the same judgments and perpetrating the same inequities that one set out to correct. The Dalai Lama is not suggesting to act out the change one wishes to see, but rather to BE that change, not to change behavior, but to change the heart. In my language, it means to see what is actually in front of you instead of what you think/imagine is there. To see through the illusion. When we are responding to our personal world as it actually is, then there is peace in the heart, and we are being that change.

What it requires is a willingness to be brutally honest with ourselves about our own personal fears and biases and attachments, to stand as a fully conscious observer of the machinations of our own thoughts and feelings and to not be driven by false beliefs and contrived feelings that result from false perception and therefore must lead to false action. It means to live and act as a fully conscious, fully awake human being.

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